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May
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Last Updated: May 22nd, 2013

Who said smart watches were a fad? The intelligent wristwear market, while not exactly new, is iron-hot, as evidenced by everyone and their mother's intentions to enter it. The real winners now are those companies able to introduce stop-gap products that fill the void between, say, Pebble and Google's rumored Android watch. The insatiable demand for these halfway smartwatches is perhaps epitomized by the early success of Secret Labs's and House of Horology's Agent watch, a Kickstarter project which blew through its $100,000 goal in less than 12 hours today.

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That's not to say the Agent is without merits. Its internals are smartly designed around power efficiency, ease-of-charge, and simple interfacing with existing electronics. The smartwatch packs a second processor for low-performance tasks, an energy-efficient 1.28" 128x128 Sharp Memory Display, integrated wireless Qi induction charging (the Agent includes a compatible pad), and support for Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy. Outside, the Agent is ready for most every scenario one might encounter day-to-day: it uses motion and light sensors to measure distance traveled while walking or exercising, and the body is water-resistant.

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On the development side of things, Secret Labs emphasized the ease with which apps can be quickly and efficiently coded. Programs can be written using C# and Microsoft Visual Studio, common enough tools that should, thanks to the forthcoming SDK, make writing code for the Agent a snap.

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The Agent is available for pre-order at the reduced price of $129. Secret Labs and House of Horology expect to ship the watch later this year at a retail price of $249. If Pebble doesn't suit your fancy and you're too impatient to wait for a Google smartwatch (which, admittedly, is wistful thinking), then grab your own Agent at the source link.

Source: Kickstarter

Kyle Wiggers
Kyle Wiggers is an avid writer, web designer, podcaster, and video producer with an acute interest in all things technology. When not reviewing or commentating on gadgets, apps, and videos, he enjoys reading New Yorker feature articles, tinkering with computers, and playing the occasional game of Rock Me Archimedes.

  • Mark Johnson

    This seems nearly identical to my sony live view at about 15 times the price

  • aNYthing6

    Eh, still think Pebble looks better.

    • http://twitter.com/sweenish Adam Sweeney

      I'm in the other camp. Especially if you want to use an analog clock face.

      • Alexey B

        I'm glad that I sponsored Pebble and have been enjoying it to a point. However at this point I would not recommend anyone buy it. Just wait to see whatever Google, Apple, MS and Samsung have in store.

        • Royal2000H

          Can you expand on why? I'm tempted to get the Pebble (though probably won't).

          • Jonathan Epp

            As an alternate perspective. I think it's awesome and have no regrets getting it. I got it on a whim, but I'm really impressed with how it's changed my daily workflow and reduced my dependency on my phone (it sounds odd, because I'm more tethered now, but being able to see notifications at a glance without pulling out my phone is huge). Having said that, right now the experience seems like a fraction of the overall potential. Some of that should come to Pebble eventually, they're just pushing out the SDKs and APIs to make some of it's features available now. However, I can also see some potential that will never arrive due to hardware limitations. When I see the Google Glass interface, I could easily see that on smartwatch, if the watch had a built in mic and a touch display. Additionally, NFC could allow you to do cool things like unlocking your phone by using your watch.

            In short, I love my Pebble, but it's opened a door, and I could definitely see myself upgrading in the future. Hope that helps.

        • aNYthing6

          I dunno. I have a Pebble, and the potential is there, especially with the newer SDK. There's no reason why it can't replace something like a Fitbit/Fuelband with the right app support.

  • Shamu

    Wishful is spelt wistful in this article. You should spell it wristful haha

    • ins0mn1a

      i actually read "wristful" and thought hey, that's a weird pun. i should probably go have my eyes checked.

    • Kyle Wiggers

      Hey, that's pretty punny.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      You mean wistful is spelled correctly but it's a lost oppuntunity.

  • http://www.youtube.com/kimirPORTALS kimir

    Alex Hansen wants you to bring the money.

  • Vito Lee

    So for $125, I can get a smartwatch and a wireless charger for my Nexus 4? Tempting. Very tempting indeed.

    Edit: Oh wait it's $200 for the one with a charger. Not as tempting now.

    • Alexey B

      And a chance that by the time that it ships (if ever) about a year from now... other watches from bigger players could be flooding the market.

  • http://www.robpol86.com/ Robpol86

    C# and .NET to write apps for this thing? Deploy over bluetooth? VS2012 integration? Hell yea!!

  • Trenton Seagoe

    It's tempting to buy it to compare it and Pebble. I mean Pebble snagged the playing field. This could be another "toy" that just wants out...

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

    All the Microsoft product placement in this project is really distracting.

    Sure they flash an iPhone a few times, but a bright blue Surface is in the background of nearly every shot once people start talking, they're doing development on a Windows 8 computer (lol), there's a WP8 device for the "works with your smartphone" picture, the programming language is Microsoft .Net Micro Framework, and the recommended dev tool is Visual Studio 2012. It doesn't matter, it just seems very artificial.

    • http://twitter.com/sweenish Adam Sweeney

      I think you're looking for issues where there are none.

      It's not like this would be any more legit if they were booted into Fedora and coding with Vim. Or Windows 7 with anything but Visual Studio. Or OS X with whatever they use over there.

      I'm not going to hold the fact that they like Microsoft products against them.

      • TheCraiggers

        "It's not like this would be any more legit if they were booted into Fedora and coding with Vim."

        Wrong. That would be like, a billion times more legit.

        The sad part is I actually kinda believe that.

      • Matthew Fry

        It's a product that will be doing cross-platform support but if they are mostly focused on Windows Phone there might be less than satisfactory Android support. That's what I personally take from all the Microsoft stuff everywhere.

  • GigiAUT

    At first glance I thought this was a modded up LiveView. The screen definitely looks similar, even some of the layout. Still on the waiting list for a Pebble though :(

  • xnifex

    how do people find these awesome projects?

    • Stein-Erik Dahle

      Check out kickstarter.com and indiegogo.com, there you'll find tons of amazing (and not so amazing) projects!

      • xnifex

        i know what sites they're on, I'm more wondering how they find gems like this & the others that have been featured. most of the stuff i see on those sites are just kinda meh.

  • LjHe80

    They probably should have left out the picture about "Phone Link Lost" It reminds me too much of my liveview.

  • youareme7

    i have to admit i like the look a lot better than my pebble; but other than the pretty great battery life it's pretty much the same thing. I agree with others that someone big is going to make a watch soon that will probably be much better than all these indies. Hopefully google gets cracking; I want Now on my wrist! add a microphone and (maybe) speaker and whoa, awesome.

  • spydie

    first of all it's more expensive than a pebble (because of the needed Qi charger), secondly, the battery life is the same (7 days) and thirdly, it's assembled in the US... which might be a mistake. Every kickstarter project I've invested in that tried to do US assembly failed... I'm not sure where Pebble will be assembled, but the smart phosphor watch will be assembled in china, as are all cheap electronic that want to stay in business. I'm not promoting chinese labor, but let's face it, our apple computers and tablets and phones are all made in China.

  • Vincent

    I'm still waiting for my pebble. Maybe this will arrive in my mailbox earlier if I back it up.